On January 14, 2017, the Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated in strong partnership with the African American Philanthropy Association and the Carter Foundation, both special initiatives of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, advertised and sponsored a private showing of the movie, Hidden Figures, and welcomed hundreds of students from area youth groups, churches, schools and clubs as well as parents, grandparents and private citizens. The goal of the collaboration was to utilize the arts to educate youth about the contributions made by African American females and encourage excitement about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields.
Students attended the event for free and all participants enjoyed donated concessions provided by the Greater Huntington Theatre Corporation in recognition of the value of the occasion to the community. They were welcomed to the event by Charleston-Institute (WV) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated membership who served as volunteers and Chapter President Edithe Byers, as well as the President of West Virginia State University, Anthony Jenkins.
Hidden Figures features Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and West Virginia native, Katherine Johnson, one of several female African-American mathematicians working at NASA during the height of the space race. Mrs. Johnson is a graduate of West Virginia State University (then West Virginia State College), a historically black college, and did graduate work as one of the first African-Americans to attend West Virginia University.